More Filipino shoppers search for gift ideas online: Facebook study

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2019 06:53 PM

A woman looks at her mobile phone as she is silhouetted in front of the decor. Thousands who travel to and from this business district will be treated to this light display all through the holidays. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – The use of mobile and other computer devices is becoming more “integral” in the holiday shopping behavior of Filipinos, taking “key roles” in the entire process even before the actual purchase happens, a Facebook study released Thursday showed. 

Although a huge chunk of Christmas shopping in the Philippines still happen in brick-and-mortar stores, consumers spend time online before buying an item, Facebook country director John Rubio said in a press briefing, citing the result of the Facebook 2019 Holiday Study.

At least 85 percent of the total 1,501 surveyed said they use their mobile or computer devices to find gift inspiration while 73 percent said they would still use their mobile device even while already shopping in-store, the Facebook-commissioned study by Ipsos in January 2019 showed.

Shoppers use their devices while inside the stores to compare prices, compare products, and read reviews, Facebook said. 

“Everybody uses mobile, what’s interesting is where mobile fits in shopping journey nowadays. It’s more and more integral to a shopping journey where you actually look at shopping as not just single point in time when you’re at the store,” Rubio said.

“A lot of purchases nowadays are planned long time. A lot of stuff you do before is on digital, a lot of stuff even if you’re in the store, he added.

Videos also “drive shoppers to spend more” when choosing Christmas gifts, the study revealed. Respondents said they prefer videos that emphasize families, those that get them in the holiday mood and those suggesting gift ideas.

Messaging is also driving purchases as 9 out of 10 shoppers said they were likely to spend more on businesses that they could reach on instant messaging services, the study showed.

Corporations and small businesses alike can take advantage of messaging tools to reach consumers, Rubio said. There are free messaging features such as setting appointments and auto-reply that can assist businesses in reaching out to potential consumers, he said.

Filipino businesses are encouraged to take advantage of available online tools to reach consumers as spike in shopping activities occurs in November and December leading to the holidays, Facebook said.

Some 76 million Filipinos are active social media users, according to a We Are Social study conducted in January 2019.